Gardens Archive - MARCH 2004
March has arrived and the Snowdrops have heralded a new season. Primroses are peeping through the hedgerows and Catkins are blowing in the breeze.
Once again there is hope of fresh produce from your garden. We are still harvesting Chervil, American Land Cress, Greek Cress, and Wrinkle Crinkle Cress along with Chinese Red Mustard, Seuhilhung Mustard and Sasai.
Chives, Sorrel and Wild Garlic are peeing through the frosted ground and now is a good time to give them a generous mulch of organic material, along with other perennial herbs that have died back for the winter months.
We have just harvested the last of our late sown Carrots and Beetroot, and as soon as the soil is workable they can be sown again. Many varieties of vegetables and salad leaves can be sown at this time of the year in a warm sheltered spot, if you are fortunate to have free draining soil that doesn't hold frost for long. Lettuce Radichetta, Misticanza and Carrot and early Nantes being the most successful. If you have a greenhouse they can be started indoors and transplanted out later.
Early flowering Plums are in blossom and Rhododendrons and flowering Quinces are bursting with buds, these can be cut for floral decorations while still in bud and brought indoors to bloom. It is good to see the Hellebores flowering once again, but they can be tricky as a cut flower, though they do look good floating in a bowl of water.
Hopefully you will have enjoyed browsing through your seed catalogues selecting new varieties to try. This year we will be growing a few more unusual varieties like, Lettuce Aussie Yellow, Lettuce Cracoviensis from 'Vida Verde Seeds', along with Bulgarian Giant Leeks from 'Dobies' and Carrot Calade, Flakee and Yugoslavian Yellow from 'Seeds of Italy'.
We have recently acquired 24 chickens to produce organic eggs for the kitchen, with the added benefit of chicken manure, which is probably the most beneficial manure for use throughout the garden. It is very powerful and should be used sparingly.
Good luck - Andrew Mellin (Head Gardener Northcote Manor)
Seeds of Italy www.Seedsofitaly.com
Dobies Seeds www.dobies.co.ukVida Verde Seeds
14 Southdown Avenue